My son is a Special Olympian!

I have sold ice cream biked miles, and walked for Down Syndrome – now you can support me revisit puberty with polar plunge and a bunch of people.

It is important we celebrate and support our awesome Special Olympians.  They excel and impress globally, with their enthusiasm and sportsmanship.

My son is a Special Olympian!

He was born with Down Syndrome and has been an absolute blessing to our family.  He’s cheerful, loving, and works hard to achieve his goals.  I’m a proud father for this amazing young man!

This year I pledge my support to Special Olympics New Jersey by making a donation through my page.

You have the awesome opportunity to also support me, and I will in turn share pictures of a pale, freckled, ginger bearded viking plunging into the ocean.  It will certainly be an experience for spectators as my roar will echo along the Jersey Shore.  And no, it is not a blue whale mating call!

The process is fast, easy and secure. Thanks so much for your support… and please don’t forget to send this page to any friends you think might be interested in donating!

Visit my donation page and share your love – Polar Plunge 2018

Wheeling Samaritan

… previously on Judgebrix.com

As I was sitting in my Dodge Charger, contemplating how to get my tire changed and still make it to work, I had come to the realization that I needed reinforcement.

Time to call a friend!

The first friend was 25 miles away, and at work.  The second friend never picked up – what a friend, eh?!

I for some reason decided to call my wife.  Well knowing she couldn’t help me, as she was minding our 2 sick kids, but she could perhaps offer some moral support.  I needed a virtual hug now that I was also injured, and stranded on Fury Roads.  In reality, she would offer me little technical support, and resorted to calling road-side assist 🙁

roadsideSuddenly, a giant van pulled in, in front of me.  The driver slowly reversed.  A slightly large dude jumped out and walked towards.  There where no-one else around, so it could only be me he was approaching.  Now, was he going to rob me a gun point, rape me with plastic gloves or was he simply a good samaritan?

Thankfully he was the latter, and my butt was starting to relax again.  He pulled out the proper tools from the van.  Jacked up the car.  Unscrewed five bolts with ease.  Swapped the tires and dropped the car again.  He had an extremely hairy ass.  Not that intentionally looked at his backside, but it was pretty difficult to miss it.  All within 7 minutes.

It was 7 minutes of magic.  For a brief moment I had forgotten my injury, and was smiling ear to ear.  As he was packing up his gear I asked him how much for the pleasure of his services, to which he replied “don’t worry, glad to help!”.

I was utterly surprised and waiting for him to say I owed him $200.  But no, he kept packing up and was preparing to leave.  I quickly dropped $20 in his hand and couldn’t thank him enough.  He just smiled and took off.

top-gun-maverick-thumbs-upI was back in my car, hitting the road and going to work.  So many cars passed me that morning.  It only took one realtime hero to help a stranded office dude.

Thank you my unknown road-side hero.  You’re my wing man. My Goose 🙂

Technical Affair

elcoIt was an odd feeling when I drove my trusted El Camino to another mechanic.  Ever since I bought the beast, I have been seeing the same mechanic.  He knew her inside out and treated her really well.  I even got a discount on different services, and sometimes a freebie.

But, having moved 20 miles away, I felt it was difficult to commit to a long distance relationship, and had to look at alternative offerings.

Recently I was forced to going to another mechanic.  One of my tires was flat and it was clear I needed new tires.

I frantically searched for local mechanics and read all the reviews, before finally deciding to go meet the new prospective mechanic.  It was almost like a real interview during the first visit. I simply had to get a feel for the new place before trusting them with the beast.

The date was settled and I brought the El Camino to the shop.  At first I was reluctant to hand over the keys, and I suddenly burst out “change her oil too“.  Not too sure what happened, but I dropped my guards and opened up.  The mechanic smiled and I went home.

A few hours later I got the call.  I could pick her up.

It was like I had cheated on my mechanic, who probably was wondering what he had done wrong since I hadn’t been back from months.  Is it normal to feel guilty about changing mechanic?

I consider this a one-off affair and hope my trusted mechanic will take us back!  It was just an oil change and new tires on the front.  It wasn’t serious 🙂

The Mechanic 2 Resurrection Movie

Paying Forward

It’s not every day that you manage to emotionally affect people while grocery shopping.

zombiesThese outings are mainly people walking like drones around the supermarket, surveying food, pondering on expiration dates and diving into ‘super sale’ basket to find the best deals.  There’s very little interaction with any fellow shoppers unless you accidentally knock into their trolley or run over their feet.

As you get to the check-out area shoppers queue up quietly, mostly waiting patiently for the the assistant to work their way through the conveyor belt – it’s a first world problem.

The other day while I was picking up a few items at the local ShopRite I had a wonderful experience.  I know it sounds bizarre, as ShopRite is just a supermarket, but it was truly a magical moment.

I joined the shortest line and waited for my turn.  I’m a law-abiding shopper and waited patiently while the customer in front was packing up.

Suddenly the guy, who had picked out a few items (no more than 7-10 items) for the Memorial Day weekend, was looking frantically at the check-out assistant.  The look in his eyes were off and I could tell he was short on funds.  I offered to covered the difference, assuming it was $1-2, but he kindly declined and removed items instead.

Next I saw him leave the check-out with-out his groceries, and I asked the assistant if he was ok.  He was not ok.

According to the shop assistant he had been in an accident months ago and was only now finding his feet.  He needed a few items to carry him through Memorial Day weekend, but didn’t have enough on his foot-stamp card.

I asked how much and was amazed when it was only $13.55.

boehnersobbingWithout hesitating, I told her I would pay for his groceries if someone could get him back to pick them up.  It was an older assistant and she was getting emotional for my kind gesture and asked if I knew the man, to which I answered no.

Everybody hits a low in their life, and it’s important that we help each other to move forward“.  At that point a small tear was forming in her eyes and the customer in front of me was also getting emotional.

Honestly, it felt normal to me to help a fellow man.

The man came back with a rather puzzled expression on his face and was humbled by my gesture.  At first he refused to take groceries, but I told him they had been paid and he couldn’t return them – it was my gift to him I said.

He left the shop with a new sense of hope.  That was evident from his posture and spring in he walk.  He was happy and relieved.

As I gather my groceries and started to walk out, the cashier smiled and thanked me.  She had not witnessed such a gesture in a long time and it made her month.

I walked outside and was greeted by the same man who had just received my grocery gift.

He wanted to shake the hand of the man who had given him the best Memorial Day weekend in over a year.  It was men like me that made the World special, and who made him proud to be an American.  He was ever so grateful for my gesture.  I told him to enjoy the weekend, and he hugged me.

The man had been in a bad accident 11 months ago and only just gotten a new job two weeks ago. He had not received his first pay check yet and was still on food stamp card, which was running very low.  Hospital bills had taken everything he had.

To say the least, he was extremely emotional about my help, and was close to tears.

As I sat into my car, I was suddenly filled with emotions.  It was a strange and wonderful experience, and I realized what I had just done.

pay-it-forwardWOW!  It was such an amazing feeling.  Helping a stranger or someone you know, with small gestures, will go such a long way.  The feelings you will experience afterwards are so rewarding, and I can only encourage you to pay it forward.

Little act of kindness goes a long way and touches people that needs help.  It’s only money and doesn’t have to be millions to make people happy.

Coffee Greed – busted

old-starbucks-logoI normally don’t write blogs about news events or other media related activities, as I don’t want to get into lengthy debates with people.  But when something occurs that makes my pee boil, then I simply have to share my thoughts.  This discussion may perhaps be a little heated and biased at times, but it’s a way for me to debate this topic with my evil twin (in my head).

This latest attempt to seek easy money is making me disappointed in people’s greed.  How bloody stupid is this law suit!?  Starbucks Lawsuit – hot tamales.  A cop suing Starbucks for spilling coffee on himself.

And a cop of all people, who I deeply respect for their bravery and protecting people, should know that coffee is hot, given many cops drink it with their doughnuts (just a silly stereotype statement 🙂 )

OK.  Coffee is hot, although it is not necessarily hot enough to cause severe burns, unless you order it ‘extra hot’ at the counter.  If that’s the case, then the coffee is about 180 Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius), which is not the actual boiling point of water.

Don’t get me wrong, it hurts like hell to spill coffee (or tea) over yourself and can give you some nasty + painful burn blisters.  Here’s a little Mythbuster-like review of burns … not tried at home, but found on Google:

  • Most adults will suffer 3rd degree burns if exposed to 150 degree water for 2 seconds
  • Burns may occur with a 6 second exposure to 140 degree water
  • Burns may occur with a 30 second exposure to 130 degree water
  • A temperature of 120 degrees, and a 5 minute exposure may cause 3rd degree burns

In my humble opinion, this is just an attempt to get money from a large corporation for your own stupidities.

To state that it has impacted intimacy with his wife, resulted in surgery, flare-up of his Crohn’s Disease, affected his kids and caused him from not being able to do his job as a police supervisor is stretching the power of coffee a little too far.

And, do they really think it sounds realistic and generous that they reduced their original claim from $10 million to “only” $750K.  How do you even calculate that number?  …. DUMB ASS!!  Let’s break this down, another Mythbuster-like analysis:

  • $15 for dry-cleaning
  • Coffee purchase $2.45 (this would most likely be refunded by Starbucks on the day)
  • Embarrassing moment when dropping pants (Kodak selfie moment) – priceless
  • $2 for petrol to drive 5 miles round trip to get new clothes from the house (based on fuel consumption on my El Camino)
  • $10 for the ointment to rub on the affected area
  • $35 co-pay for doctor’s visit
  • Total possible compensation = $64.45

Shit happens. You spill coffee, you take off the clothing and put on cold water.  Why did he need surgery?

No wonder so many products and companies have weird disclaimers – it’s to prevent dumb ass people to make stupid claims.

starbucks troopersA similar case made the news a few years back and the judge threw out the case.  Just Because Tea is Hot!

Europeans laugh at the Americans when they read such articles and it does not serve well for the reputation of a great Nation and its awesome people.

Now, had the waiter throw the boiling coffee on him, by accident or intentionally, then that changes the game entirely.  Still not a $10 million claim.  But that was not the case.

Long story short, I fully support valid claims and lawsuits to help people who are truly affected by actions or events outside their control. They need to be compensated, especially considering the insane health costs that comes with even the smallest injury.

Lawyers need to review cases more realistically and not encourage outrages claims.  Would it hurt to perhaps challenge the “victim” by discussing logic with them first.  If the coffee is steaming and ordered hot, then be careful.  Once you take the cup, you are responsible for your own actions.

Unfortunately we have people who try their luck and who have equally greedy lawyers.  As such, judges need to take a stance against these claims.  It affects us all in the long-run (conspiracy theory) as prices and insurances will simply go up to recover the legal charges companies are fined with.

Be safe – Be honest – Be positive

(disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by Starbucks and I have not been offered payments to support the Starbucks engine – although I could use a nice tall Latte!)

Barista Moments

A few barista statements that I found while searching for coffee temperatures, based on an interview with a Starbucks barista; Extra Hot Coffee – why?

1. When it’s cold outside. “When I worked at Starbucks in North Dakota, the temperatures would reach -30F plus wind chill, so drinks cooled down QUICKLY if taken outside/ordered in a drive thru,” Morgan wrote.

2. When you are ordering a milk-based drinks. Creamers, even when steamed, can cool down the temperature of a coffee. Tell the barista you want the milk steamed to 180 degrees, and it won’t negatively affect the taste of the espresso or coffee.

3. When you don’t plan to drink the coffee right away. If you want to enjoy your coffee at work but there’s a convenient Starbucks location closer to home, ordering it extra hot will keep it warm during the commute.